Italy's quake toll rises to 278, 15 missing in Amatrice

ROME, 26th August, 2016 (WAM) — The Civil Protection Department said Friday the latest provisional death toll in Wednesday’s earthquake in central Italy is 278.

The quake killed 218 people in Amatrice alone, according to the new toll figure, while the toll in Arquata and Accumoli remained unchanged at 49 and 11, respectively.

Civil Protection officials said 238 people have been pulled alive from the rubble, while more than 2,100 people have been displaced by the quake.

Although the Civil Protection Department said there are no longer any missing persons in the Marche region, at least 15 people are still missing in Amatrice, a Lazio town that was mostly levelled in the quake, Italian news agency, ANSA, quoted Mayor Sergio Pirozzi as saying on Friday.

Amatrice was hit by a 4.8-magnitude temblor early Friday morning that caused further building collapses, and the “Tre Occhi” bridge that was serving as an essential passage for aid and rescue workers was ordered closed.

Pirozzi said he is “deeply worried” that another bridge, the Rosa, is at risk of collapse, and that if it is also closed or collapses, access to the town could be cut off.